All posts by Andrew Henderson

MemorableMoments1

Oswego Independence parade and celebration set for tomorrow

Memorable moments – The tradition of the Oswego Independence Parade has been around for 50 years and created many memorable moments. Pictured is one favorite from years past, the late Len Ponzi, riding down the parade route in his Lake Shore Plumbing shower. The 50th Annual Oswego Independence parade will be held tomorrow, July 7 beginning at 1 p.m from. the Oswego High School and ending at the East Seventh Street tunnel at Fort Ontario.
Memorable moments – The tradition of the Oswego Independence Parade has been around for 50 years and created many memorable moments. Pictured is one favorite from years past, the late Len Ponzi, riding down the parade route in his Lake Shore Plumbing shower. The 50th Annual Oswego Independence parade will be held tomorrow, July 7 beginning at 1 p.m from. the Oswego High School and ending at the East Seventh Street tunnel at Fort Ontario.

When the Oswego Independence Parade steps off at 1 p.m. tomorrow, July 7 from the corner of Liberty and West Mohawk streets, it will be the 50th time the Oswego tradition has brought a sense of patriotism and celebration to the city streets.

While Oswego had hosted many parades on different occasions, it was during the early 1960s that friends and fellow Jaycee members Bill Greene and Bill Gregway decided that Oswego needed a bigger celebration for the nation’s birthday than just a fireworks display.

Thus, the tradition of the Oswego Independence Day Parade was born. The original parade had a budget of approximately $600 and started by the Oswego Hospital, traveling East to Fort Ontario.

Through the years, the Jaycees and Jayncees evolved the parade to an increased route and a celebration that included a drum corps show, originally held at Fort Ontario, then later moved to Wilbur Field at Leighton Elementary School.

When the local Jaycees group disbanded, several local service organizations stepped in to keep the tradition alive, and eventually the City of Oswego asked the local chamber of commerce to take over organizing the event.

For over 30 years, local businessman Jim Bushey and a group of volunteers spent countless hours designing, constructing and decorating floats. This year, Bushey plans to reconstruct a float he still has parts of in storage.

The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce Independence Celebration Committee decided the most fitting way to celebrate the 50th installment of the parade was to invite the people who worked to bring the parade together over these many decades to be honored as the grand marshalls.

All members of the Jaycees, Jayncees, civic groups, chamber members and all volunteers are welcome to participate. Grand marshalls can choose to walk the parade route or ride on trolleys provided by Allen Chase Enterprises.

Those seeking to participate are asked to gather at the corner of Liberty and W. Mohawk streets by the Oswego High School by 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 7.

Following the parade, NBT Bank will be sponsoring the annual Independence Celebration Concert. The Oswego High School Jazz Band will take the stage at Breitbeck Park at 7 p.m., followed by the Oswego City Band, which will play from 8:30 p.m. through the fireworks display, which begins at 9:45 p.m. over the Oswego Harbor. There will be food vendors and Good Times of Oswego will have several bounce houses available in the park during the concert.

In and Around Hannibal: Mission to Appalachia

Rita Hooper 

706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

As some of my readers know, I have just returned from nine days in Appalachia, specifically Tennessee and North Carolina.

I was there on a church-sponsored Mission Tour to learn about the culture and history of the area, the part the Presbyterian Church USA played and continues to play and the challenges faced by women, children and families.

I will be traveling during the next two years to talk about what I saw and learned. I went with 22 other women from all across the country, including Alaska. It was not a pleasure trip, but with 23 women, we managed to find ways to have some fun and a lot of giggles.

We visited a hospital and toured the Toothbus, we visited food pantries and clothes closets, we checked out individual water systems, met with people who offer free legal services and have 300 lawyers that volunteer their time.

Interesting to note that much of their time is spent getting people the help they are entitled to but can’t work their way through the system. We spent an afternoon in a poverty simulation which helped us to understand why the ‘system’ doesn’t work.

We sat in small groups trying to determine which housing repair applications we would accept for a group that works with volunteers that do home repairs.  These were actual applications.  The choices were not easy ones to make.

Though not mentioned specifically you can see that one of the underlying threads weaving its way through poverty is drugs.  I think the same can probably be said about our area.

We had a presentation by two pharmacy grad students from East Tn. State University who work with the program Generation Rx – a program to prevent the misuse and abuse of drugs.

Four out of the top five drugs abused by 12th graders are prescription and non-prescription medicines. Seventy percent of the folks currently abusing drugs are getting them from family and friends.

The statistics are mind boggling but probably not so very different from other states.

Another one of those threads is education. We spoke with a young woman in prison because of drugs. She has managed to get her first two years of college under her belt while incarcerated. She hopes to be a drug counselor when she’s out.

But her first words were, “Education is the key!” I wish high school kids could hear her.  She has been able to reconcile with her children and is counting her days until she’s free. She is turning her life around.

Another thread is the part politics is playing in poverty.  The sequester is bad enough but the budget cuts especially in North Carolina will have devastating effects on the poor. We have seen some of those effects in Oswego County and New York State as well.

Cutting programs to the poor doesn’t generate income and costs more in the long run. It’s cheaper to have a Toothbus go to the schools and provide dental exams and routine care for the children than it is to take care of mouth and digestion problems in the future!

There is so much to say and so little time…

 

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe

Major floods

by Leon Archer

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the wildlife in a stream or river when they are flooded over their banks by rains like those that have been creating havoc around Oneida and points south east?

Looking at the pictures of the coffee brown water flooding streets, inundating homes and vehicles, while carrying vast amounts of debris and mud, we quickly become aware of the damage to land and property.

What we don’t see is what is happening to the communities and residents that call the streams and rivers their home.

The mud that we see left behind on land creates a mess that has to be scraped and scooped up and then transported to a landfill or field. The remnants get hosed away into storm sewers which direct the offending goo back to area streams in many cases.

The streams get it coming and going when major floods hit them. Normal rains are a welcome event for fields and streams, but just because an ecological community resides either in or around the water doesn’t make it immune to damaging effects of flooding any more than we are.

At first, a heavy rain invigorates the fish, insects and shellfish that live in a stream, but the rising water always increases the strength of the stream flow, which is great for some of the denizens, but not so good for others.

A torrent moves dead  wood  downstream, wood that has been trapped for some time and supports all sorts of life from microscopic to large insect nymphs. It also displaces rocks and rearranges the shape and size of pools.

This stirring of objects large and small casts all sorts of food into the reach of trout and other fish. They can often gorge themselves on insects that had pretty well been safe from them before.

A normal heavy rain is actually good for the life of a stream even though it may cost some of the prey critters dearly. I always thanked the good Lord for every heavy summer rain that hit the Sandy Creek area when I was a boy, because it meant great fishing in Little Sandy for at least a couple days. Trout’s natural caution was overcome by the abundant food in the water and the cloudiness hid the fish from the view of predators.

However, the kind of rains that the state has been experiencing in some locations presents a difficult time for streams and all their residents — even large fish.

The high water can, and often does, carry stream life far away from the stream itself and ends up depositing them where they cannot get back to the moving water that has been their home.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe

‘Christmas in July’ celebration to benefit Toys for Tots tonight

Today is a special day at Oswego Speedway. For the first time, the “Steel Palace” will present “Christmas in July” to benefit Toys for Tots of Oswego County.

“Christmas in July” will feature free food for those who bring a toy for Toys for Tots, awards for the best decorated Supermodified pit and best decorated SBS pit, best dressed member of the Oswego Speedway staff, and best decorated push truck/safety truck/tow truck, fireworks, and a visit by Santa himself.

“This is something I’ve thought about doing for a couple years now,” said Coordinator Lisa Sova. “This year, during the off season, several of us at the track started to talk about it seriously, and we came up with this program to benefit Oswego County youngsters through Toys for Tots. We are hoping this will become an annual event because it is for such a great cause and everybody can have some fun with it.”

Every person who brings a nice, unwrapped toy will receive a free Hofmann hot dog combo meal, which includes a Hofmann hot dog, fries, and a Coca Cola product or Dasani water.

“If all members of a family bring a nice unwrapped toy,” Sova said, “they will each receive the free Hofmann hot dog combo meal.”

Toys should be for youngsters from toddlers to early teens.  The Oswego County Toys for Tots program will be represented at the track and organizers will take all of the gifts and distribute them to needy children during the Christmas season.

Terry Strong of the Plum Krazy 99 Supermodified team says her team is out to win the best decorated Supermodified pit or hauler.

“I just think this is a fantastic idea,” said Strong. “What a great way to have some fun and at the same time make a significant contribution to the needy kids in Oswego County.”

The Strong team will have its work cut out as a number of other teams have already started preparations on decorating their pits and hauler. The excitement is no less on the SBS side of the pits.

Jay Andrews, always known to both have a good time and help out a worthy cause, said his Team Tapout is all in.

“We’ve decorated our hauler for other events,” said Andrews, “and this is such a great way to help local kids. You can be sure there will be an individual contest between my 93 team and Jason’s 98 team.”

Jason is Jason Simmons, driver and owner of the two car Team Tapout.

Several of the track workers have already either purchased or made costumes for “Christmas in July.”

Almost all of the workers will be sporting Santa Claus hats.

Terry Thompson, who works at Mitchell’s Speedway Press and sells programs at the track, says he’s going to be hard to beat as the best dressed employee. While he wouldn’t give away any of his ideas for a costume, Thompson said, “You know me, so you know it’s going to be spectacular.”

The push trucks, safety trucks, and tow trucks will have their work cut out for them since they have to come up with a display that won’t fall apart or fall over when the vehicle is in motion.

Paul Conzone of the track safety crew said that the safety crew will really have its work cut out for them to come up with a Christmas display for the front straight safety truck, “but you know us. We’re really all over anything that is going to help those less fortunate. We’ll be there, and we’ll be decorated.”

Conzone did say the safety crew likely won’t be able to wear the Santa hats because of other equipment they have to wear.

“Lights on the Christmas displays are certainly encouraged,” said Sova, “but they will have to be turned off during all races.  They can be on at all times except when there is a race on the track.”

Nothing may be erected on top of the hauler as part of the display.

Tonight, there will also be a fireworks display.

Grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing hitting the Speedway at 6:30 p.m.

Novelis Fan Can Chase continues tonight at Oswego Speedway

The second round of the Novelis Fan Can Chase will take place this Saturday at Oswego Speedway as a part of Toys for Tots “Christmas in July” presented by Days Inn and Knights Inn of Oswego.

Saturday night’s collection will take place outside the main gate to the Speedway from 3 to 6 p.m.

Over 15,000 aluminum cans were recycled at the Speedway’s first Fan Can Chase event back May 25, with Carl Schadt recycling over 2,700 cans to lead the individual standings.

Ron Gunther, Brad Smart, Jim Larkin, and Mike Howard currently fill the top five positions in the individual collection standings with Speedway tickets and other prizes on the line for those race fans that recycle the most cans by season’s end.

The donation of 100 to 199 New York State six-cent recyclable cans from the same household will earn one family member a $7 food voucher for the concession stands on that night.

Households with donations of 200 to 499 cans will earn one general admission ticket for a future regular race night while those who donate between 500 to 999 cans will be rewarded with two general admission tickets for a future regular race night and one chance to win a two-seat Supermodified ride to be raffled that night.

All fans are reminded not to split up their donations on the remaining Fan Can Chase race dates. Several fans in the past have separated race date donations into different names and have missed out on season long prizes even though those multiple donations were, in fact, from the same household. Splitting up race date donations, in excess of 100 cans will not result in additional $7 food vouchers being issued.

As in the past, names and phone numbers will need to be on all bags turned in and a photo ID will be required as only one food voucher will be issued per residence.

Food vouchers will be dated for use on the date they are issued and must be used in one concession transaction. Food vouchers are good for all menu items, except beer and wine.

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Local businesses join lake restoration effort

Lake restoration effort – Local merchants are helping the effort to restore Lake Neatahwanta. This Monday, many local businesses will be offering $1 donation cards — in the shape of Lake Neatahwanta — in order to raise local funds for the cleanup to begin. Pictured are Mayor Ron Woodward and Second Ward Councilor Dan Knopp who were the first to make a donation.
Lake restoration effort – Local merchants are helping the effort to restore Lake Neatahwanta. This Monday, many local businesses will be offering $1 donation cards — in the shape of Lake Neatahwanta — in order to raise local funds for the cleanup to begin. Pictured are Mayor Ron Woodward and Second Ward Councilor Dan Knopp who were the first to make a donation.

by Andrew Henderson

Local merchants are helping the effort to restore Lake Neatahwanta.

This Monday, many local businesses will be offering $1 donation cards — in the shape of Lake Neatahwanta — in order to raise local funds for the cleanup to begin.

Second Ward Councilman Dan Knopp presented the idea to the Fulton Community Revitalization Project Board.

The Lake Neatahwanta Revitalization Project will be partially funded by a grant from Senator Patty Ritchie and other private donors.

“Every member of our community can show their own support by donating $1 to this very important project,” said Knopp. “Just sign your name, your family’s name or just write a note of encouragement. Your personal donation will be displayed by the businesses to show your support for the lake cleanup.”

All contributions will go directly to the restoration of Lake Neatahwanta.

The city recently partnered with the Fulton Community Revitalization Corporation to begin a comprehensive restoration project.

When completed, it will enhance the area’s tourism, economic development, and recreation opportunities for the community, Mayor Ron Woodward said.

 

To read the rest of the story, pick up a copy of The Valley News or call 598-6397 to subscribe

 

Timothy Perkins, auto mechanic

Timothy W. Perkins, 68, of Hannibal died Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at Oswego Hospital.

He was born in Oneida and resided in the Hannibal and Fulton areas for the last 23 years. He worked as a mechanic for eight years at the East Syracuse Auto Store, retiring in 1985.

He enjoyed camping with his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Doris; children, Norman Merrill, Michael Merrill, both of Hannibal, Raymond Merrill of Volney, Maxine Hines of Fulton, Tammy Perkins of Florida and Tina Widger of Syracuse; a brother, Paul (Margie) Goodell of Williamson; sister-in-law, Maxine (Tom) Blowers of Oneida; and several grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are from 1 to 3 p.m. today, July 5 with services to follow at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Contributions in memory of Mr. Perkins may be made to the American Lung Association of New York State, 155 Washington Ave., Suite 210, Albany, NY 12210.

Mary Holland, owned Canalview Gifts

OBITS-HollandMaryMary M. Holland, 89, of Fulton, died Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

A native of Lackawanna, she had resided in Fulton since 1957. She had owned and operated Canalview Gifts in Fulton for 15 years.

She was a communicant Holy Family Church and member of the Fulton Women’s Club and the Interior Decorating Club.

She was predeceased by her husband, Merton J. Holland, son, Dennis Holland and sisters, Kathleen Mosier and Joan Sitz.

Surviving are her children, Beth Holland of Fulton and Kenneth Holland of Phoenix; six grandchildren; a great grand-daughter; and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 8 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay Street in Fulton with services immediately following.

Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery at the convenience of the family.